Here’s the Reader’s Digest version of a story as best as I can recollect which now ought to end Nevada state Sen. Dennis Nolan’s (R-Las Vegas) political career for good.
A 16-year-old girl accused a 22-year-old man of sexually molesting her while she was passed out on his sofa as her sister, who was also the man’s wife, was sleeping upstairs.
The man was charged with rape and admitted to the offense. At his trial last year, the man’s defense team subpoenaed Sen. Nolan to appear as a character witness. Nolan reportedly was friends with the assailant from playing hockey together. Nolan so testified.
The man was convicted of rape. The case is now under appeal, with the full support of Sen. Nolan who still hopes his friend will beat the rap.
About two weeks ago, the victim’s father did a radio ad for Nolan’s Republican primary opponent Elizabeth Halseth, questioning Sen. Nolan’s fitness for office for defending his daughter’s attacker. This has obviously posed serious political problems for Sen. Nolan’s re-election chances.
Which leads us to the following message which the Halseth campaign says Sen. Nolan left on the phone of the victim’s sister on the morning of May 19, 2010. (And yes, I have listened to the recording myself and have transcribed word-for-word from it. And yes, the voice on the phone sure does sound like Dennis Nolan):
“Hey, ah, (name withheld), it’s Dennis. Listen, um, ah, there’s a lot of people who have a, ah, serious interest in, ah, this, uh, campaign and what’s going on and, uh, I think that, um, it could be very financially beneficial, um, for you to consider telling the truth. Um, give me a call a little later on and I will, uh, give you more details on it. I got a call from some people who would, ah, really like to see this thing cleared up and, uh, have a, uh, have, uh, the resources to back that up. So, give me a call. Bye-bye.”
The Halseth campaign informs me that Sen. Nolan has already confirmed to a Las Vegas media source that the voice on the recording is, indeed, his. The campaign also advises that they intend to post the actual recording on their website once the actual name of the victim’s sister has been edited out for privacy considerations.
It was a legitimate question to ask what relevance Dennis Nolan’s testimony on behalf of his friend had to his fitness and duties as a state senator. But offering financial benefits from “some people” with “resources” in exchange for coming forward to try to help save his campaign? There’s no question here whatsoever.
If, indeed, Sen. Nolan made this call, his resignation should be on the governor’s desk by noon tomorrow….if not tonight.
P.S. Any bets on whether or not Sen. Nolan will try to explain that his call was part of some ham-handed “sting” operation?